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chiller10
07-09-2009, 2:06pm
I'm looking at buying a Dell Studio desktop. Have just started out in digital photography, shooting in RAW mode & looking to pp. Have purchased LR2. The system is as follows:-

Core i70-920 (2.66GHz, 8 Mb)
Vista Home Premium 64 bit (free upgrade W7)
1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD
Dell S2309WFP Monitor
512Mb ATI Radeon 4850
8Gb or 9Gb DDR3 1066MHz memory

Just a couple of questions. The unit I priced with 8Gb ram was pretty much the same price as another system I priced with 6Gb (due to different discount offers). The 8Gb unit can be upgraded to 9Gb for approx. AU$100. Am I going to see any advantage in 9Gb. Also does anyone see the value in extending the warranty from 1 year to 3 years (extra AU$148).

ricktas
07-09-2009, 2:12pm
8gb should be plenty for most uses, adding an extra 1gb is not going to give you much, if any, advantages. I run my system with 4gb and it works fine.

Kym
07-09-2009, 2:14pm
8Gb on 64 bit will be sweet!
Dell - yes the warranty is worth it.

DAdeGroot
07-09-2009, 2:32pm
8Gb should be plenty (I'm running with 8 and it's a big improvement from 4, but you won't see much improvement going to 9).

As Kym said, definitely get the extended warranty. Dell's warranty service is pretty good, and from experience, you may need it.

chiller10
07-09-2009, 3:53pm
Thanks for the replies fellas. I'm not that clued up on computers but I seem to remember reading somewhere that with DDR3 ram you're best to work in mutiples of three (eg 6, 9, 12 etc)

Kym
07-09-2009, 4:01pm
Thanks for the replies fellas. I'm not that clued up on computers but I seem to remember reading somewhere that with DDR3 ram you're best to work in mutiples of three (eg 6, 9, 12 etc)

Huh?

No ... memory is done pairs - it is Double Data Rate v 3 !

Richard Hall
07-09-2009, 4:45pm
Huh?

No ... memory is done pairs - it is Double Data Rate v 3 !

Not quite the same on the i7's Kym. Whilst the RAM is naturally enough DDR3 RAM, it IS in triple channel. So basically, yeah, you are running in multiples of three, Chiller is quite correct. ;) I'm populating my mobo with 3 x 2GB modules, for example.

I'm running an i7 920 (@ 3.2GHz) and 6GB RAM (Windows x64 Ultimate) here, and it flies through anything you care to throw at it.

Edit: I haven't done any benchmarking on Photoshop CS4 x64 vs x86, but it "feels" quicker when performing certain operations. I should do some benchmarks to find out exactly what's what. Oh, and I wish bloody NikSoftware would release 64bit versions of their software!!!!

Kym
07-09-2009, 4:50pm
Not quite the same on the i7's Kym. Whilst the RAM is naturally enough DDR3 RAM, it IS in triple channel. So basically, yeah, you are running in multiples of three, Chiller is quite correct. ;) I'm populating my mobo with 3 x 2GB modules, for example.

Ok! I missed that somewhere - good news. But only i7 and the right MoBo I take it.

Richard Hall
07-09-2009, 4:58pm
As far as I can recall, the memory controller is on-die, with i7's, so they're all triple channel.

oldfart
07-09-2009, 7:44pm
With the price of 4Gb 1066 Ram modules being what it is I'd stay with 6Gb (3x2Gb)

OwenS
07-09-2009, 8:18pm
Spend the extra $100 on SD cards lol

Richard Hall
08-09-2009, 12:57am
With the price of 4Gb 1066 Ram modules being what it is I'd stay with 6Gb (3x2Gb)

I agree, I'd go with the 3x2GB option and save a few $$$. For less than $150 you can get 3x2GB kits from OCZ or G.Skill rated at 1600MHz, which gives you some headroom should you ever wish to overclock your system.

These i7's rip through stuff! I just completed my first High-def video encode. A 1920x1080P VC1 video source re-encoded to x264 and completed it in 2hr 50mins. :eek::eek::eek: My dual core system (Opteron 170 @ 2.6GHz) this replaced would take at least 18+ hours on the same encode!!!!

chiller10
08-09-2009, 7:59am
Unfortunately my choices are 6Gb (6x1), 8Gb (4x1 & 2x2), 9Gb (3x1 & 3x2). I'm sure 6Gb is plenty for my needs but I can see that 3x2 is the better way to go. Can anyone recommend other computer vendors that make solid pc's & offer good support. I've spoken to a couple of local computer people and they've advised to go with Dell as they can't match their price & support.

toast
08-09-2009, 10:48pm
I just put together the following system from components bought from PCCasegear. I scoured the whole of Australian Internet computer stores and the only other site to provide the components I wanted was Techbuy, which were way too expensive.

When I found PCCasegear I was very happy with four things:
1. Component selection.
2. Price.
3. Website usability (easy to view and compare).
4. Service and responsiveness to requests/questions.

Yep, I was able to get everything I wanted:

Component Price $
Antec Mini P180 $178.00
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article810-page5.html
Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile 320GB $99.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=11233
Samsung SH-S223B DVDRW OEM $69.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12202
Intel Core i7 860 $449.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12405
Corsair CMX8GX3M4A1333C9 8GB (4x2GB) DDR3 $289.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12324
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 $29.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=11895
http://www.guru3d.com/article/coolermaster-hyper-tx3-review/
Corsair HX-450 Power Supply $119.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=11268
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article692-page1.html
Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 Motherboard $219.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12317
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=624
Gainward GeForce 9400GT 512MB HDMI $59.00
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=11024
Total : $1,510.00

I just purchased the DELL UltraSharp 2209WA 22" monitor. Everyone is snapping this one up:
http://www.lcdreviewz.com/review_Dell_2209WA%20
http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/business/monitors/monitor-dell-2209wa/pd.aspx?refid=monitor-dell-2209wa&s=bsd&cs=aubsd1

If I had a camera right now I would take some shots. The Antec Mini P180 is awesome. Check out the review by http://www.SilentPCReview.com. Putting it together was simple and Windows 7 just went on sweet. I have also installed Ubuntu Server 64bit and it loves it, too. All in all I am very happy with it. PCCasegear were perfect.

Actually, they didn't have the Antec Mini-P180 listed on their site and upon my inquiry they simply added it until I had made my order. The CPU cooler is dirt cheap but is quiet and keeps the 860 below 30 degrees C.

I actually was torn for a while between the i7 920 processor (with accompanying chipset and memory requirements) and the new i7 860 processor (with simpler chipset and memory requirements), trying to decide if the 860 was a cut down version of the 920. To my knowledge, it isn't, except for the fact that the 860 has only a two-channel memory controller and not three like the 920. But by all accounts, triple channel isn't required.

The simpler chipset was the biggest plus for me. I wanted to put everything into a small mATX case and not have to run big fans to keep it cool. The i7 860 is 95W, vs the i7 920's 130W! The P55 chipset (Lynnfield) is also simpler and is less cramped when put onto the mATX motherboard form factor. Plus, the motherboard and RAM requirements were cheaper, so all up it was a great deal vs the 920 heat/power and (IMO) unnecessary complexity. W00t!

Yeah, if you are going to get more than 6GB, you want to populate the channels evenly. Ideally the next step up from 6GB is 12GB (two DIMMs per channel = 6 x 2GB. I bought the 8GB set (configured for i7 Lynnfield chipset) which is 4 x 2GB. It fills up the micro ATX motherboard nicely. I will be running GNS3 for emulating Cisco routers and also running VMs for adding server OSes.

The great thing is the new monitor will be okay for photoshop work (once I get a camera, damnit!).

Here is an excellent article about the new Core i5 and Core i7 Lynnfield:
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634

and another:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/intel_LGA1156_launch

Astroman
09-09-2009, 7:21am
Toast, nice system, I am so out of date on all this techy stuff with computers now.... Easy to get lost in the amount of stuff available these days.

chiller10
10-09-2009, 9:02am
Toast, how have you found Ultrasharp 2209WA monitor? With Dell I can upgrade to this monitor from Dell S2309WFP for $209. Do you think I'm going to notice a big difference in the Ultrasharp?


Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum! Avast! Where's me parrot? Off t' the mulga with ya buxom lasses an' swashbucklin lads!

toast
03-10-2009, 5:57pm
Hey Chiller10. Sorry for the extremely late and likely too late a reply. I have found the resolution to be good. I have just purchased another identical monitor and it has yet to arrive. I think two of these is better than one 24" for the same price. More pixels, dual monitor for dragging things onto, for cheaper (currently $360 each).

I cannot comment on the colour correctness, as I haven't done anything with colour for a very long time, not since 21" Sony Trinitrons were the go for graphics pros. I would just go off the reviews if I were you (like the one in my links).

The stand isn't high enough for me. But it is what everything is coming on these days from DELL. If you want a single monitor solution, I would suggest people look at DELL's premium 24":
http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/home/monitors/monitor-dell-u2410/pd.aspx?refid=monitor-dell-u2410&s=dhs&cs=audhs1

or, their 27" monitor for only $100 more (although I haven't read any reviews of this one):
http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/home/monitors/monitor_2709wfp/pd.aspx?refid=monitor_2709wfp&s=dhs&cs=audhs1

Good luck.

chiller10
05-10-2009, 2:23pm
Thanks for that Toast. I've ordered a Dell Studio Core i7-920 desktop with 2209WA monitor. Everything I've read on the monitor has been favourable so I can't go too far wrong.

chiller10
05-10-2009, 2:25pm
Toast, how have you found Ultrasharp 2209WA monitor? With Dell I can upgrade to this monitor from Dell S2309WFP for $209. Do you think I'm going to notice a big difference in the Ultrasharp?


Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum! Avast! Where's me parrot? Off t' the mulga with ya buxom lasses an' swashbucklin lads!

Does anyone know where the "yo ho ho etc" quote might have come from as I'm 99.99% sure I didn't put it there!!

tanalasta
05-10-2009, 3:00pm
8Gb vs 9Gb is like granny smith apples next to each other at Coles and trying to decide whether the one that is slightly bigger is worth it. You'll pay a bit more but when you get home, nobody would know which one you picked or whether it was any different to the other apple.

So 8Gb is fine - safe to spend the $100 on a romantic date and bring your camera ;)

As for Dell, definitely get the warranty and preferably pro-support / Australian support. Dell's QC varies and in my experience, I've had to call warranty at least a few times over the life of my computer/notebook.

I @ M
05-10-2009, 4:28pm
Does anyone know where the "yo ho ho etc" quote might have come from as I'm 99.99% sure I didn't put it there!!

It would have been put there by our illustrious leader as one of the clues in last months pirate treasure hunt chiller.
No, you weren't going round the bend mate. :)

toast
05-10-2009, 7:15pm
Nice choice, Chiller. Getting two of them is even better :)

If they give you 9GB on the 920 chipset, I would bet that you get 3 x 2 and 3 x 1, which is NOT favourable. Or, even worse, 4 x 2 and 1 x 1. You either want 3 x 2 (one DIMM in each channel), or 6 x 2 (two DIMMs in each channel). However, the reality is that unless you are filling up all eight logical CPUs you are not going to notice having an uneven memory configuration.

Good going on the DELL. I have found them to be the best in terms of warranty and support. All the manufacturers require warranty at some point and no one comes close to DELL's support.

chiller10
06-10-2009, 9:01am
Nice choice, Chiller. Getting two of them is even better :)

If they give you 9GB on the 920 chipset, I would bet that you get 3 x 2 and 3 x 1, which is NOT favourable. Or, even worse, 4 x 2 and 1 x 1. You either want 3 x 2 (one DIMM in each channel), or 6 x 2 (two DIMMs in each channel). However, the reality is that unless you are filling up all eight logical CPUs you are not going to notice having an uneven memory configuration.

Good going on the DELL. I have found them to be the best in terms of warranty and support. All the manufacturers require warranty at some point and no one comes close to DELL's support.

I ended up getting 6Gb ram (6x1) which I know is not ideal for future upgrades. (Their special deals changed since my original post). Dell's upgrade prices seemed a bit steep & I'm sure 6Gb will meet my needs for a fair while. I've taken out the three year warranty & have also found Dell support good to deal with in the past (Hopefully their local support speak English clearly). I'm expecting the machine in the next day or two & expecting a huge improvement over my ageing Dell 5100 which has slowed to a crawl. Again, thanks for your advice.

chiller10
06-10-2009, 9:03am
It would have been put there by our illustrious leader as one of the clues in last months pirate treasure hunt chiller.
No, you weren't going round the bend mate. :)

That's a relief. I've been hitting the red pretty hard lately & some days my recollections are not what they should be! http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/images/smilies/food-smiley-004.gif